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Flames Fall in Big South Match
The Liberty men's tennis team uncharacteristically dropped the doubles point to Gardner-Webb, Monday afternoon, as the Flames fell, 5-2, in their Big South Conference road match in Boiling Springs, N.C. The match marked the Flames' first action since March 17, with weather cancelling or postponing each of their scheduled matches during the span.
The loss drops the Flames to 7-8 and 1-2 in Big South action, while Gardner-Webb levels its record off at 9-9 and jumps to 3-1 in Big South contests.
The Runnin' Bulldogs held their ground in doubles play, sweeping the opening matches. The sweep kept the Flames from taking the doubles point for the first time in eight matches, and also halted eight-match win streaks for the Liberty pairings of Siim Tuus and Benjamin Wirth at No. 1, and Tristan Stayt and Mandeep Yadev at No. 3.
In singles, the Flames managed to secure two victories, but it wouldn't prove to be enough.
Tristan Stayt picked up a win at No. 2 singles, defeating Korhan Ates in straight-sets, 6-3, 6-4 for his eighth singles victory of the year.
Freshman Stanislav Vaughan notched the second team point for the Flames on the day, taking his No. 6 match up in three sets. After earning a 6-4 win in the first set, Vaughan dropped a close second set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-5). In the final set, using rally scoring, Vaughan earned the 10-2 win.
Junior Giancarlo Lemmi was edged in three sets, which snapped his streak of six-consecutive wins. Despite dropping the opening frame, 6-3, Lemmi forced a final stanza with a 6-3 set of his own. His counterpart, Roman Piftor then scored the win, taking the rally-scored set, 10-7.
Liberty returns to the courts tomorrow, playing host to intrastate rival, Longwood. The match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., with live stats being available to track the scores of the match.
Gardner-Webb 5, Liberty 2
1. Carter/Veeder (GWU) def. Tuus/Wirth (LU) 8-6
2. Piftor/Belair (GWU) def. Lemmi/Thomas (LU) 8-7 (0-4)
3. Ates/Knuttsson-Sundblad (GWU) def. Stayt/Yadav (LU) 8-5
1. Belair (GWU) def. Tuus (LU) 6-4, 6-2
2. Stayt (LU) def. Ates (GWU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Veeder (GWU) def. Thomas (LU) 6-2, 7-6 (6-4)
4. Piftor (GWU) def. Lemmi (LU) 6-3, 3-6, 10-7
5. Knutsson-Sundblad (GWU) def. Yadav (LU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Vaughan (LU) def. Parker (GWU) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 10-2